Mouthpiece size, is there a right one?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Gxman, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Thanks for responses. Going by "difference between one an another mouthpiece is 3 weeks" principle...

    I like big mouthpieces, as to me they provide the most sound. When I played guitar, I went for the thickest strings as they provided more body to the sound. Having said that, they were hard on the fingers while thin strings you could play much longer. Now I assume a larger mouthpiece means less endurance, however, logic tells me it just means I need to play on it longer to build up the needed endurance on that kind of mouthpiece, bonus at the end being, larger sound.

    I know I like large mouthpieces, (Currently using B2S3 monette) I like the sound I get from them, I know endurance suffers, but, more practice should fix that. I plan to go to a B1 next which is the largest. So is it a 'wrong' choice or not?

    So what are the reasons people choose certain sizes? Mine as gathered is sound.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The endurance is not a function of the size of the mouthpieces and never was.

    Our bodies compensate for things that they think should be, in many different ways. If we are playing only for ourselves in a bedroom at volume levels that do not bother anyone, then there is no issue regardless, there is no opportunity for our sound to develop, there is no challenge in hearing ourselves. If we have all of our practice in that same bedroom, but band rehearsals in concert hall sized room, we have BIG issues with endurance because what we hear there is not what the brain expects - it forces the player to change the way that they play to meet the expectations in the brain - we tense up to play even brighter.

    The same is true when we change mouthpieces. Our brain does not get what it expects, we have not built habits that correct for that and tension is the result. A pro needs 3 weeks (because they play a lot and are sensitive to small differences). Weaker players can need a year or perhaps NEVER get used to something else - because they do not have the muscle memory developed enough. Trying to play lead on a Bach 1C would also be a challenge as the "sound" is not really focussed enough for that venue, the brain tries to get the chops twisted into solving the problem, they can't and the embouchure collapses from strain. On the other hand, trying to play Mahlers 5th symphony on a Schilke 14A4A would also lead to collapse because the very direct focussed sound does not fit in the orchestral fabric.

    I do not like weaker players with big mouthpieces. They think that they have a bigger/darker sound, people on the other side of the bell only hear undefined mush.

    Gxman, as we don't play together anywhere, I guess I don't have an opinion here whether a B1 is too big for you or not. I know that it is not a mouthpiece for me and I play "big music" several hours every day. The second trumpeter in the orchestra where I play does use a B1 and it is OK for him.
  3. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

    Jan 21, 2010
    People have heard me play from TM in person and said my sound was like honey and without my notice people walking on the street stopped to listen and wondered why on earth I assume I am a beginner. I still do think I am as my ideal is Botti, Giuffredi etc level of playing and I know i am far from that. This was all done on a B2S3. In fact, I didn't sound much different on his 7 beginner mouthpiece or the 3. In fact I didn't sound much different from a getzen eterna classic, my stomvi and some beat up pocket trumpet he had or his 7lb harrelson custom trumpet. I sounded like me irrespective of mouthpiece size or trumpet combination (more or less). I thought the harrelson was the brightest and my stomvi being the darkest, but not a significant difference.

    - The type of places I play currently is in churches. Piano + me soloing. In this case any size works as I'm not competing with anyone.
    - The type of music I like to get into, classical and orchestra. Again I assume a B1 is suited ok.

    I am not into big Band jazz stuff and nor do I personally care for notes higher than a High C. Again B1 I assume is ok since I'm not into all the lead stuff where it would be silly to play on a B1 and make life difficult when a smaller piece would have been easier on the face to play (more efficient for the job intended).

    And based on this, where, whom I play with, what I would like to be involved in, a large mouthpiece is fine. So the question was, is my face a predetermining factor as to what size I should be using since the environment is not, and thus no sense in arguing with physical makeup or the issues are the environment and not the face and thus in my case no problem then since what I intend to do is lended fine to a larger mouthpiece?

    I just noticed thicker lipped players generally on larger pieces while thinner lipped players on smaller ones, and thus wondered if that had anything to do with it or not in relation to choice.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Gxman --- just play on what you are used to --- most people are whacked when they keep switching mouthpieces all the time ----- I personally play on an Asymmetric, I know people (even a pro player or two) who can not play on them, and who's sound is not good ----------------------------------- for me, that is the best mpc. I stick with it, I use it, I like it, and I have great sound and range (most of which can be attributed to 4,000 hours of practice in the last 5 1/2 years -- perhaps some of it to the design of the mpc) --- either Way, I am sticking with the Asymmetric ---- FOR ME IT IS A WINNER!!!
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    You have a good horn and a good mouthpiece, keep a practice log and when you reach 1000 hours without changing the set up come back and tell us if you still need another mouthpiece. I have a Monette B2, I am not using it at the moment, it is very tiring if I am playing lead in big band, I would use it in Orchestra except it does not fit my Selmer Horns, I use an equivalent sized Selmer mp.

    Regards, Stuart.
  6. trumpetpastor

    trumpetpastor New Friend

    Aug 2, 2013
    Charlotte North Carolina
    Gxman, I have been following this thread closely in that I am a thicker lipped player also ; I play on a B2S3 monette with a Carol Brass Heavy Legend. This set up gives me the buttery sound that I already had in my head - it just made it easier to play that way. I'm not sure if anyone can or will answer your question but I hope my response lets you know that I understand exactly what you mean.
  7. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I would challenge the notion that it take three weeks to acclimate to a different mpc, unless of course it's radically different and you've never played it much before. As for thin lips=small diameters, that's just not correct. Stork had an interesting system of noting that thinner RIMS matched better with thicker lipped players, but I've got damn thick lips and like my rims think. Diameter doesn't affect me much, but rims sure do.

  8. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    Cat Anderson had big lips and a tiny little mouthpiece. " I didn't sound much different on his 7 beginner mouthpiece or the 3. In fact I didn't sound much different from a getzen eterna classic, my stomvi and some beat up pocket trumpet he had or his 7lb harrelson custom trumpet. I sounded like me irrespective of mouthpiece size or trumpet combination"

    So use whatever most efficiently lets you sound like you.
  10. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

    Jan 21, 2010
    According to that stork given, one needs choose a mouthpiece with the inner diameter being matched to his lips. He stated thick lip players would suffer from using smaller inner diameter rims as would a thinner player suffer having a large inner diameter.

    If that is the case, how does one measure? Do I just make the Dim shape though about to play, then measure from top of lip to bottom (just off the red part) then find an inner diameter that matches my measurement or what?

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